Episode 306 - Culture club

Jan 16, 2017

Patriotism, flags, nationalism, religion, politics, national symbols hijacked by racists! These are some of the unique aspects of our cultural identity and national differences we chat about on this quackcast. I was inspired by HippieVan's newspost on Friday (about Cultural identity and how it defines our writing), to dive further into the subject of cultural differences. We all share the illusion of a single, global culture, but there are regional differences for all of us that mean we don't see things the same way, and often some of the stuff we mean in our comics is influenced by where we come from in a way that people from elsewhere would never quite get in the same way. We chatted about how the use and wearing of national flags is very different depending on what country you're in. For example, in the USA proudly displaying the national flag is seen as normal and mundane, while elsewhere displaying the national flag can be seen as a sign of extreme conservatism or militant nationalism. Wearing the US flag in most countries is seen as something of a fashion statement, a very commercial one; wearing the flag of the USSR is seen as a statement of ironic rebellion; wearing the Union Jack is punk; but wearing the flag of your own country in Australia, Greece, Canada, Cambodia etc (and many other places) is seen as a gauche statement of too-overt patriotism, even though wearing the flags of the USA, USSR or UK is perfectly acceptable. These and other interesting facets of culture are what we chatted about. Gunwallace's musical theme was for Ayla Speaker For The Dead, it's a sad, sepulchral, grieving dirge-like requiem, with an uncomfortable sting of evil jazzy trumpet.

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Topics and Show Notes

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
Salamander - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2017/jan/10/featured-comic-salamander/

Links
Based on Hippy's newspost - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2017/jan/12/cultural-background-and-comicking/

Canadians in Spaaaaaaaace!
Dee Reluctant Space Tourist - Hippy's comic: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Dee_Reluctant_Space_Tourist/

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Banes - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Pitface - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/

Featured music:
Ayla Speaker For The Dead - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Ayla_Speaker_for_the_Dead/, by JohnH985, rated M.

Episode 305 - Chekhov's phaser

Jan 9, 2017

3 likes, 3 comments

Chekhov's gun is the principal (as I understand it), that if you have some item, fact or piece of information introduced into your story that you draw specific attention to, then you'd better use it some how later on in your story. The simplest example is a gun: if it appears as a prop lying around in your story AND you draw attention to it, then by the end of the tale it should have gone off. This is because you've set up the parameters for your story in the mind of your audience and they develop certain expectations, if you confound those then they'll be disappointed and think that your story was poor. Having a “gun” on stage isn't so important here, it's the fact that you drew attention to it somehow. It doesn't have to “go off” either, as long as it plays a role in the story somehow. You can trick the audience very easily with these sorts of devices, making them think one item or piece of information will be vitally important, only to make it important in a way they wouldn't expect or to use it to hide the fact that some other thing was important instead. So that's our topic of conversation today! All based off of Tantz's newspost on Saturday. Gunwallace's musical theme was for Grow Up. It's repetitive, relaxing, punk reggae instrumental, with fuzz guitar. A lazy evening on a warm summer beach.

Episode 304 - eeeeeevil!

Jan 2, 2017

5 likes, 1 comment

What defines evil in fiction? I say the simplest one is bad guys are selfish, good guys are selfless. That is massively over simplistic but it's a good easy template for basic hero's and villains. Basic ones I was just doing a quick thought experiment to work out an easy way to define “good” and “evil” characters in fiction. The more selfless someone is the more “good” they are: the more they think of others, want to help people, put the needs of the masses first, the more willing they are to reach across to their enemies etc. The more selfish a person is the more “evil” they are: if they don't consider the needs or feelings of others, help out their own small group and let others suffer, help themselves first. Of course there are many other more advanced aspects, especially if you consider the relative nature of these things: the idea that everyone thinks they're the good guy from their own perspective, being cruel to be kind, being too authoritarian and heavy handed in the use of power, NOT using power when you should, helping in a way that only SEEMS destructive and selfish, trying to help but causing destruction and chaos in the process, which brings us to the dreaded “unintended consequences”. BUT, the selfless/selfish equation is a nice simple starting point to build from. In the Quackcast we discuss these aspects as well as more advanced notions about what makes a good evil character, what makes a bad one, humanising evil, and weakening you evil character by humanising them too much. Gunwallace's musical theme was for The Cull: Dark, haunting, and compelling- Eastern European Jewish, country and rock, reminds me of Tracy Bonham’s later work.

Episode 303 - Christmascast

Dec 26, 2016

3 likes, 0 comments

It's Christmas time again… well at least it was two days ago when we recorded he cast. Today's Quackcast is a rambling christmas discussion of various things that take our fancy like the Secret Santa gift thread (linked down bellow), and the amazing art by amazing artists within it! Tantz, Pit, and Banes joined me sitting around a hot Australian sun in the outback with the traditional Christmas kangaroos hopping around and the traditional Christmas kookaburras laughing overhead! What did YOU do for Christmas this year? Gunwallace's musical theme was for E X T I N C T - A dark, bleakly epic SciFi soundtrack with a touch of James Bond in the strong baseline.

Episode 302 - the agendacast

Dec 19, 2016

3 likes, 6 comments

Today we talk about works of pop-culture that have an obvious political agenda, so obvious that t not only gets in the way of the entertainment but also dictates to the audience without letting them have a chance to come to their own conclusions: forcing you to see things only one way. Even when we agree with the agenda being presented it can still strike a sour chord, often more-so since they're preaching to the choir and usually just throwing a badly simplified version of the philosophy at you, which can feel insulting. So that's what we chat about. Those views can come from ANY political persuasion, the right the left, communism, fascism, socialism, libertarianism whatever. No one has a monopoly on ideologues. We became overtly political towards the end… Sorry for that. HAHAHA. Do we practise what we preach? HELLS NO! I have to apologise again for the terrible sound quality of my voice recording. I thought I'd fixed the settings from last week, but I was wrong. I HAVE now though. Gunwallace's musical theme was for Grunk - cocktail bar samba played on a church organ. The music of heaven! Cheesy heaven. You can imagine fat angels in hawaiian shirts swanning about drunkenly and spilling their margaritas.

Episode 301 - Let it snow!

Dec 12, 2016

5 likes, 0 comments

Banes and Pitface live in a parallel world to me where this time of year involves water falling from the sky in the form of fluffy white crystals. When it hits the ground it piles up on top of itself into huge white piles! Freaky, I know, but they tell me this actually happens. For me December is a time for heatwaves and the beach. So Banes and Pit enlighten me and all you out there on the beauty of snow. The idea for this Quackcast was based on a newspost by Banes. He talked about the use of snow in comic stories as a plot device. We talk a bit about that here, along with all the different visual aspects of it and how you can use it in imagery. I apologise for the sound quality here, something strange happened with my microphone settings. Gunwallace's musical theme was for Man Bun: Heavy, bass driven funk rock, with dark chocolatey, bluesy lyrics. Classic, cool, and hot!

Episode 300 - 3rd DD meetup!

Dec 5, 2016

4 likes, 0 comments

We finally did it! We got to 300 Quackcasts! We've been doing these non-stop for SIX years! Wow… That's pretty incredible. We couldn't think of anything clever do do so we had another DD electronic meetup. The 3rd DD meetup on the 3rd of December on the 300th Quackcast. So the DD family got together, which is what families do around Christmas, well a few of us anyway! In this Quackcast you can listen to an hour of our blather and carrying on and vicariously experience what it was like if you missed it or listen again if you were a part of it. It's always a blast to have the DD community together, we're spread out all the way across the planet so this is really the only practical way for us to come together. We tried doing it with DD hangouts this time instead of Skype, which was interesting but there were way too many hoops to jump through for people to get into it. We could only have 10 people on the call at the time, With Skype we could have 10 people on video chat and others with voice only and chat was so much better… So NEXT time we will go BACK to Skype. Screw you Google hangouts! It was so nice to see people! I tried to stay up for 10 hours from 11am EST (New York time), to 9pm, but I didn't make it. I fell asleep 2 hours short. :( Gunwallace's musical theme was for Lady Unlucky: a minimal white landscape, furnished with electronica, hints of piano and subtle grandeur.

Episode 299 - Self Insertion of Characters

Nov 28, 2016

5 likes, 6 comments

In Quackcast 299 we expand on an idea from Tantz's Saturday newspost about inserting your personality into your characters when you write them. But not only that, we chat about how a work of fiction by a writer can be like a darkly faceted diamond with many aspects of themselves reflected in all their individual characters. And then we go even further and talk about how we insert ourselves into characters that we read about or see on the screen. What characters do you see yourself as in your favourite works? Gunwallace' music this week was the theme to Girlsquadx! It's a fun, techno, bouncing, pop action tune!


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